AKC Canine Health Foundation Publishes Whitepaper on the State of Genetic Testing in Dogs
Sharon M. Albright, DVM, CCRT
Manager of Communications & Veterinary Outreach
AKC Canine Health Foundation
For Immediate Release
RALEIGH, NC (September 15, 2020) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners, has published a review of the current state of genetic testing in dogs. This valuable resource is intended to help dog breeders, owners, and veterinarians make sound decisions with regard to interpreting and understanding the implications of genetic test results.
Creation of this resource was initiated by 2019 AKC Board Chairman, Bill Feeney, and funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). It was completed by Dr. Liza Gershony, a 2019 CHF Clinician Scientist Fellow, and Dr. Anita Oberbauer, CHF-funded researcher and recipient of the 2019 Asa Mays, DVM, Excellence in Canine Health Research Award - both from the University of California, Davis. The whitepaper was introduced by Dr. Oberbauer at the September 2020 American Kennel Club Delegates’ meeting and is available on the CHF website at akcchf.org/geneticswhitepaper2020.
“While scientific advances in the area of canine DNA testing are exciting, they have also led to a desperate need for continued education,” says Eddie Dziuk, Chief Operating Officer of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and member of the AKC Delegates Canine Health Committee. “Dog breeders, owners, and even veterinary professionals often struggle with questions such as test purpose, accuracy, breed specificity/appropriateness, and interpretation of results. The genetics whitepaper is a long awaited and needed resource to address today’s most pressing questions and make better use of these powerful tools to breed healthier dogs.”
“The AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors hope that dog breeders and caregivers use this resource to make informed and thoughtful decisions regarding their breeding plans and disease prevention and treatment strategies for individual dogs,” states Dr. Calvin Carpenter, CHF Executive Director. “Genetic testing is most impactful when properly used as one of many tools available to dog owners.”
The genetics whitepaper provides a foundation in canine genetics valuable to anyone involved in the care of and decision making for individual dogs or breeding stock. Practical applications and limitations of existing genetic tests are reviewed for the lay audience. This resource is offered as a tool to help improve the health of current and future generations of dogs.
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Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $58 million in funding to date, the Foundation provides grants for the highest quality canine health research and shares information on the discoveries that help prevent, treat and cure canine diseases. The Foundation meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at www.akcchf.org.
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